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10 Powerful Health Benefits Of Moringa Powder + How To Use It

Meet moringa oleifera. In its native India and Nepal, it's known as "drumstick tree," "miracle tree," and "tree of life"; today it's also grown in Africa, Latin America, and Asia and also goes by the "horseradish tree."

Moringa powder, made from the leaves of the moringa tree1, has a number of science-backed benefits and medicinal uses.

This superfood has been used as a traditional remedy in phytomedicine and ayurvedic healing for thousands of years.

Here are the 10 best health benefits of moringa oleifera, plus our favorite ways to add this super green to your diet:

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Benefits of moringa powder

1.

It's packed with vitamins and minerals.

Many of the healthy foods you eat have a single standout nutrient. Think carrots and vitamin A, citrus and vitamin C, nuts and vitamin E. 

Moringa leaves stick out as a superfood because one cup of chopped leaves is considered a good source of iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and riboflavin and has notable amounts2 of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and magnesium.

In fact, the leaves are more concentrated in vitamin C3 than oranges. That means moringa can contribute to everything from better vision and immunity to bone health and skin radiance.

Summary

One cup of chopped moringa leaves is packed with iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and riboflavin and has notable amounts of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, and magnesium.
2.

It's a source of plant-based protein.

Whether you're a vegetarian or just trying to cut down on meat, it's not always easy finding convenient plant-based protein.

Sure, there are lentils and tempeh, but sometimes you just want a quick, no-cook add-in to sprinkle on smoothie bowls or add to soup.

That's where moringa comes in. Powders made from its crushed leaves are packed with protein—3 grams of protein per tablespoon, in fact—and have a leg up on legumes because they contain all the essential amino acids4, necessary for muscle repair, energy production, and mood regulation.

Summary

Moringa powder contains three grams of protein per tablespoon and contains all of the essential amino acids necessary for energy production, muscle repair, and more.
3.

It may help your sex life.

Stress can skew your sex life. It can throw hormone levels off, spiking cortisol and decreasing dopamine to lower libido.

In animal studies, moringa has not only been shown to bring down cortisol levels5, but it may also naturally boost testosterone levels, a known sex drive6 supporter.

In one study, moringa extract worked to enhance sexual performance7 in stressed rats by suppressing cortisol and increasing testosterone.

Summary

Moringa has been shown to boost testosterone levels, a known sex drive supporter. It's also been shown to enhance sexual performance in animal studies.
4.

It may help balance hormones.

Menopause can throw women's hormones out of whack—and make them feel off, but moringa may help.

A study published in the Journal of Food and Science Technology found that postmenopausal women who took a combination of moringa leaf powder and amaranth leaf powder for three months not only had decreased markers of oxidative stress, but they also had better fasting blood glucose and increased hemoglobin levels, which could mean more balanced hormones.

Moringa has also been linked to improved thyroid health, which controls hormones related to energy, sleep, and digestion.

Summary

Moringa has been shown to decrease markers of oxidative stress and improve blood glucose in postmenopausal women. Moringa has also been shown to improve thyroid health, which controls hormones related to energy, sleep, and digestion.
5.

It may protect the liver.

Think of your liver as the body's detoxifier. It filters the blood, detoxifies chemicals, and metabolizes fat—and moringa may help it work better.

First off, moringa contains high concentrations of polyphenols to reverse oxidation8 in the liver, and preliminary research in animals has shown moringa consumption to reduce symptoms of liver fibrosis9 and protect against liver damage10.

Summary

Moringa contains high concentrations of polyphenols that reverse oxidation in the liver. Preliminary research has shown that moringa can also reduce symptoms of liver fibrosis and protect against liver damage.
6.

It may help fight free radicals.

Free radicals11 are created by things like pollution, fried food, and sun exposure. They damage your cells by robbing them of an electron, causing oxidative stress, cell damage, and premature aging.

The antidote: antioxidants, like the flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid found in moringa3. A diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to prevent premature wrinkles and possibly make you live longer12.

Summary

The antioxidants found in moringa may prevent premature wrinkles and possibly help you live longer.
7.

It may reduce inflammation.

Move over, turmeric, there's a new inflammation-fighter in town. Moringa has been shown to significantly lower inflammation in cells.

In addition to containing inflammation-lowering polyphenols13 and isothiocyanates14, moringa reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and proteins in the body.

Summary

Moringa has been shown to lower inflammation in cells.
8.

It may help balance blood sugar.

Spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels can cause mood swings and sugar cravings and even lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Enter moringa.

The leaf powder has been effective at reducing lipid and glucose levels and regulating oxidative stress in lab studies.

One clinical study also showed therapeutic antioxidant properties as well as lower fasting glucose levels in postmenopausal women who took a supplement with moringa, and amaranth, leaves for three months.

One animal study even showed that moringa in the diet could help reduce weight gain and insulin resistance15.

Summary

Moringa has been shown to reduce lipid and glucose levels and regulate oxidative stress in lab studies. It's also been shown to help reduce weight gain and insulin resistance in animal studies.
9.

It may improve digestion.

Moringa leaf powder contains about 30% fiber16, most of it insoluble, something you not only need for digestion but that may also reduce your risk of disease.

Moringa is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial and may help inhibit the growth of various pathogens17 that can cause digestive upset. 

Moringa's anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to help with digestive disorders, like colitis17; plus, a recent study in mice found that it may improve gut bacteria18.

Summary

Moringa leaf powder contains high amounts of fiber that's critical for digestion and may even reduce your risk of disease. Moringa may also help inhibit the growth of various pathogens that can cause digestive upset.
10.

It may support brain health.

It's estimated that worldwide, 55 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Moringa leaf is high in vitamins C and E, which combat the oxidative stress19 associated with Alzheimer's.

Animal studies of both Alzheimer's20 and dementia21 are showing promising results. More good news: Moringa has also been linked to increased dopamine21 and serotonin22 ("happy hormones"), and with more research, it could possibly be used to help treat depression23 in the future.

Summary

Moringa leaf is high in vitamins C and E, which combat the oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer's.

Side effects + who shouldn't use moringa

Moringa might be unsafe for pregnant women or nursing mothers24 to use due to the chemicals possibly found in the root, bark, or flowers of the plant. Otherwise, the leaf powder had been deemed safe in human studies, even in larger doses than normal.

You'll also want to stay clear of moringa seeds and moringa seed extract consumption, as they have shown a level of toxicity in immune cells.

Moringa can also have a laxative side effect when consumed in large quantities or lead to stomach upset, so we suggest starting with a small dose—½ to 1 teaspoon per day. 

Summary

If you're pregnant or nursing, avoid consuming moringa as the chemicals found in the root, bark, and flowers can be harmful to you. Moringa seeds and moringa seed extract, in particular, have also shown a level of toxicity in immune cells. We suggest starting with a small dose—½ to 1 teaspoon per day. 

How to use moringa powder

Made from dried and ground moringa leaves, the powder has a mild flavor with a slightly earthy taste, so it works well with many different recipes.

Moringa powder is easy to find online and in healthy grocery store chains. Try Kuli Kuli Pure Organic Moringa Vegetable Powder or Kiva Organic Moringa Leaf Powder.

The takeaway

Moringa Oleifera has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years and has been associated with numerous benefits.

And while there is plenty of recent research1 to back the benefits above, like all supplements, moringa isn't regulated by the FDA25 and more research is needed to determine whether it is safe to consume regularly.

We always recommend considering a doctor's guidance before making any health-related decisions.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 7, 2015. A previous version of this article indicated that moringa leaf powder can reduce liver fibrosis. We have since clarified that statement to indicate that preliminary research in animal studies has shown that consuming moringa reduced symptoms of liver fibrosis.